Very reminiscent of a fine aged Burgundy, this ’52 Barolo Monfortino wafts with dried rose petals, sweet red fruits, forest floor, game and cherry cordial; this is a graceful wine whose delicacy counters its dizzying notes. Fresh acidity keeps this mature Barolo lively but its ethereal mouth-feel suffuses the palate; tertiary notes abound as this wine unfurls to a lingering, complex finish. In years of outstanding quality, Giacomo Conterno selects the very best grapes from the Cascina Francia vineyard, and these become Monfortino. Fermentation of both Barolo bottlings is identical with the exception that the Monfortino gets no temperature control; no matter how high the fermentation temperatures may go, there is no intervention on the part of the Giacomo Conterno estate. Barolo Monfortino Riserva is unquestionably a standard-bearer in Barolo, and it consistently shows the deft hand of its maker in its mind-blowing complexity, nuance, power and ineffable beauty. Giacomo Conterno crafts its Barolo Monfortino exclusively in vintages of the highest caliber; between the years of 1920 and 2009, it made only 47 out of a possible 89 appearances, averaging fewer than 600 cases in each vintage.
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